The Regional Sponsored Migration Stream (subclass 187)(Direct Entry Stream)

The Regional Sponsored Migration Stream (RSMS) was introduced to help “Regional” businesses

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), which is also called the 187 visa, was introduced to help businesses in regional, remote or low population growth areas, to recruit skilled workers to fill positions that cannot be filled from the local labour market.

The RSMS visa program allows “regional” employers to nominate skilled workers from overseas to fill genuine vacancies in their business. A 187 visa is a permanent residence visa. This means that a foreign employee will become an Australian permanent resident on the day that their 187 visa is granted.

The Regional Sponsored Migration Stream (RSMS) operates outside the major metropolitan centres of Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Melbourne and Perth. The whole of the Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania are classified as regional for the purposes of the RSMS or 187 visa.

What is involved in the RSMS nomination and RCB application process?

As you might expect, the RSMS visa rules are fairly complex, and there can be variations in how those rules apply to a particular business.

Basically, a business must submit two separate applications:

  • An application to a Regional Certifying Body (State or Territory government), and
  • A 187 nomination application (Federal government)

Both applications need to be approved. If these applications are refused, the related visa application cannot be approved. As mentioned above, these applications are complex and it is critical that they are correctly prepared.

The facts underlying each application and the supporting documentation will be assessed by a State Government Office (the Regional Certifying Body or RCB) and then separately assessed by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). The assessing officers at the RCB and DHA will consider a broad range of criteria, which will usually include the following:

  • Is the businesses actively and lawfully operating in regional Australia?
  • What is the business structure (Pty Ltd/Trust/Partnership etc) and who are the directors and owners?
  • Is the business financially sound?
  • Is the business paying it’s tax on time?
  • Is the employer willing to nominate an applicant to fill a full-time skilled vacancy in their business for a period of at least two years?
  • Is the skilled occupation specified on the Regional Occupation List?
  • Is the position genuine?
  • Is the Contract of Employment fair and does it meet legislative requirements?
  • Is the salary offered to the foreign worker a fair market rate salary?
  • Has the required amount of Labour Market Testing been conducted and did the adverts meet the legislative requirements?
  • If the business is a start-up, does the business have a credible business plan?

The above list is not intended to be comprehensive as there are too many variables involved in the 187 nomination and RCB application process. We provide our clients with:

  • clear guidelines on the criteria they will be required to meet;
  • a detailed checklist of the business documents required in support of their RCB and 187 nomination applications;
  • templates for some of the required documents.
What documents will a business need to provide the government with?

The Regional Certifying Body and Department of Home Affairs will require a broad range of supporting documents from the owners of a Pty Ltd company. Although the documentary requirements will usually vary from business to business, at an absolute minimum a business will usually be required to provide the following:

  • ASIC Certificate of Company Registration
  • ABN Details
  • Business Name Registration Certificate
  • Historical company Extract
  • Trust Deed (if relevant)
  • Business tax returns (lodged with the ATO)
  • BAS
  • Company Financial Statements
  • Organisational Structure Chart
  • Promotional materials
  • Contract of Employment
  • Job Description
  • CV and Qualifications for the nominated skilled worker
  • Labour Market Testing/Advertising Evidence*
  • Evidence that the position is genuine
  • Evidence that the salary offered to the foreign worker is fair market rate salary

*The RCB Labour Market Testing/Advertising requirements may vary from State to State. The Labour Market Testing/Advertising evidence required by the Department of Home Affairs may be quite different to the evidence required by a State or Territory government. It is important to understand what level of evidence is required by the State and Territory governments and the Department of Home Affairs before embarking on an RSMS (subclass 187) nomination and visa application.

Once we understand more about your business operations, we will be able to let you know which documents will be required in support of your RCB and nomination applications.


Our fee for preparing and submitting an RSMS (subclass 187) RCB and nomination application is $2000 plus GST

The RCB fees will vary according to where your business is based.

The Department of Home Affairs nomination fee is currently NIL.

The Skilling Australian’s Fund Levy is $3000 or $5000 depending on whether your business turnover is $10M or above.

Contact Us

EasiVisa specialises in employer nominated visa applications and we will be pleased to discuss the intricacies of the RSMS visa program with you.

For more information, please call us on 08 9429 8860 or Contact Us HERE.


Disclaimer – This page is designed to provide useful information on some aspects of the RSMS visa program and must not be used as a substitute for professional migration advice. The Australian migration rules are complex. Detailed information on visa applications is provided on the Department of Home Affairs website

Created: 8th January 2019

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